Both switches and sensors are electronic components that are used in various systems. When they detect a specific force or change of state, they respond. Since they are used in similar capacities, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are some important distinctions between them. Understanding their individual parameters, features, and capabilities will help in the process of identifying whether a switch or sensor is needed in a certain application.
What Are Sensors?
Sensors are devices that will respond to certain stimuli, including heat, light, sound or vibration, motion, acceleration, magnetic and electrical fields, moisture and vapors, and many others. Essentially, a sensor takes this stimulus and converts it into an electrical signal, via a transducer, which is changed into a binary code that can then be processed by a system. Their primary purpose is to detect and gauge or measure a certain degree of change and they can do so with varying degrees of sensitivity. Once the stimulus is detected, the sensor may simply store the information for later transmission or it may prompt the system to trigger a response.
What Are Switches?
Switches are devices that respond to stimuli like motion, acceleration, vibration, impact, changes in …